February 24, 2014

The Lego Movie



            Somehow we have ended up in an age in cinema where every studio is trying to get their hands on a board game or toy to turn into the next big blockbuster.  I really hope this tendency ends soon as the only good to come out of it is the first Tranformers film (which is a dumb-ed down Spielberg film but a good one at that).  Other than that it has just been critically-derided or box office-bombing (and in most cases both) dreck.  Yet in the past few weeks we have finally received a beacon of hope amongst all of that garbage.  The Lego Movie is far from perfect (in fact, it’s a gigantic mess), but there is so much passion and energy put into this film that you can’t help but enjoy it.

            The Lego Movie follows Emmet (voiced by Chris Pratt), a construction worker in a Lego world, who accidentally becomes attached to a mysterious device.  Soon he is told that he is the “Special” foretold in a prophecy and must now find a way to defeat the evil Lord Business (voiced by Will Ferrell).  The film is directed and written by Phil Lord and Chris Miller (the men behind the recent 21 Jump Street remake).

            The Lego Movie takes a while to get going as it sets up the world and stakes in an oddly generic fashion, however, when the main plot finally gets going, it really gets going.  Lord and Miller seem to have the pace, jokes and awesome cameos going at an incredible rate.  However, this film really doesn’t become worth it until the surprising third act.  Something in the final act causes the film to be flipped on its head in a very good way.  It’s something that I have never seen in an animated film before, and Lord and Miller execute this twist with surprising efficiency.

            Lord and Miller also lucked out with one of the best voice casts in recent memory.  Chris Pratt and Elizabeth Banks are perfectly casted as the leads.  So to is Morgan Freeman as the Gandalf/Obi-Wan/Dumbledore archetype known as Vitruvius.  Alison Brie, Channing Tatum and Jonah Hill do some funny work while Will Arnett and Liam Neeson pretty much steal the entire film (the former as the biggest douche bag that has ever inhabited the character of Batman and the later as the villainous Good Cop/Bad Cop).

            The Lego Movie is structurally flawed, but there is just too much done right to not like (and maybe even love) it in the end.

8/10

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